RLG opening questions & answers.docx

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Kenneth Derry

 Give 4 specific examples of how sports may be connected to religion o The whole sporting event is ritualistic – structured time with repeated behaviour – singing the national anthem, a procession of players, etc o Symbolism – uniforms, flags, face-painting o Rules are like sacred texts o In sports, people follow their team (blind faith) even if their team isn’t good – some people follow their religion in a similar way (blind faith)  Explain the “religious” meaning of fire in two different rituals o In Zoroastrianism fire represents purification and destruction o In a Hindu wedding, they walk around a fire, not to keep themselves warm but to represent the path they will walk along for the rest of their life as a couple o In the Olympics, fire is symbolic (of the games?) and is treated sacredly  What is “syncretism” and why is it a problem for the “world religions” approach? o Syncretism is the merging of religious elements o Ex. Indigenous religions adopted the concept of good/evil (conflict dualism) from Europeans o World religions approach – defines by certain aspects/categories, takes it out of its environment – problem: they’re actually blurred around the edges, we can’t understand how religions are practiced differently around the world  How might a sacred text be considered both religious and non- religious? o We must look at the text in the cultural context o The Bible is a sacred text that is mass produced – physical objects have certain religious meaning to certain people o The Red Willows poem is non-religious because the man eats too much bear meat and gets sick – it’s religious because it talks about supernatural aspects like Nanabush fighting the bear and shaping the landscape  Using James Cox’s definition, explain how something can be both religious AND not religious? o It is impossible to falsify religious propositions, they are untouchable and immeasurable – just because something can’t be proven scientifically doesn’t mean it’s also religious, and vice versa o In indigenous stories, they step outside the physical realities, but they are also about non-religious messages like relationships and learning lessons o Wine is religious in a Christian church mass representing the blood of Christ, but in the normal world, it’s just wine  Give two examples showing how the internet may be helping to cause religious hybridity and change. o Wedding video using popular music during a Christian ceremony o Social media talked about #muslimrage and people became more aware of muslims that are all over the world – making fun of how muslims are viewed as terrorists  Explain Althusser’s ideas about “repressive state apparatus” and “interpellation” using lyrics from today’s song o Repressive state apparatus – a ruling group exercising power over the population - army, police, prisons, courts, governments which act through, force, violence, and threat of violence o Interpellation – when people unknowingly participate in their own exploitation without realising they are being oppressed o Lupe Fiasco daydreamin’ – the crooked police are the repressive state apparatus and the people are participating in their own oppression by doing and producing drugs (keeps them in the hood)  How do contract issues in Long Island and the Big Bang Theory relate to Foucault? o Foucault – power, discourse, and knowledge are interconnected – whoever has more knowledge has more power, etc. o Contracts – a form of discourse (communication) and a kind of knowledge – agreements are forms of power (responsibilities and consequences) o Eruv – a Jewish Orthodox group was given permission to make an imaginary ritual enclosure around the city which allowed them to do work on Sabbath and religious holidays (making a loophole in the Jewish laws – Jewish law prohibits doing any kind of work on the Sabbath, including pushing strollers) – The Eruv is manipulating and changing the contract Jews make in their religion with God o BBT – Howard has contracts with his mother and with Bernadette (mother-son vs husband-wife) – but he breaks those contracts by telling them two different things (he told bernadette that he told his mother he was going to move out, but he didn’t really tell her)  Give 4 examples of how specific gender stereotypes are reinforced in The Big Bang Theory. o Stereotype of women’s bodies being objectified and sexy (all the guys are covered from head to toe and penny wears skirts and short sleeves) o Stereotype – women like to talk about relationships and guys want to talk about sports and drink beer (reversed in BBT – leonard wants to talk about relationship and penny wants to watch sports and drink beer) o Stereotype – women care about giving presents (bernadette’s bridal shower) o Stereotype – women like holding hands (amy at the movies with sheldon) o Stereotype – only men are interested in sex (reversed in BBT – amy talks about sex almost like men do, and sheldon is not interested in sex)  Explain the connection between religion, GQ, and recent problems in Bet Shemesh, Israel. o Lana del Rey was the only woman on the cover of GQ and was naked – women’s bodies are objectified o Bet Shemesh – 8-year old girl was spat on and harassed bc ultra- orthodox jews thought she dressed immodestly o Gender constructions in media make women appear sexualized, gender constructions in religion make women dress modestly  What lesson can we learn about essay writing from Penny’s response
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