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Midterm

RLG101H5 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Manu Smriti

4 pages165 viewsFall 2010

Department
Religion
Course Code
RLG101H5
Professor
David Miller
Study Guide
Midterm

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INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF RELIGION
RLG 101 H5F
INSTRUCTOR: DAVID MILLER
ANSWER ALL SIX QUESTIONS (5 POINTS EACH)
PART A: QUESTIONS FROM LECTURES (15 POINTS TOTAL)
1. What are the principal characteristics of ELOHIM, the GOD in GENESIS (Chapter 1,
verse 1) “Who created the Heavens and the Earth”, and what are the two principle
CREATION THEORIES found in GENESIS 1? (5 POINTS)
A) ELOHIM, in Hebrew is plural; hence DIVINE PLURALITY; two major
characteristics of Elohim are:
-FIRST CAUSE: if there was a cause of god, God would not be God; hence God in the
FIRST UNCAUSED CAUSE
-EFFICIENT CAUSE (less important); his effect is creation of the cosmos (1 point)
B) More importantly, ELOHIM is NOT the MATERIAL CAUSE; (as the spider is the
material cause of its web), ELOHIM remains TRANSCENDENT or apart from his
creation in both theories of creation (1 point)
c) ELOHIM creates the cosmos out of PRE-EXISTANT MATTER in GENESIS ONE
symbolized by the WATERS (See Notes pp. 3& 4). Genesis 1:2 & 1:6 ff The Hebrew
word TEHOM (DEEP), which refers to the WATERS as “deep” is related etymologically
to the BABYLONIAN word TIAMAT, the wicked female dragon that encompasses the
WATERS. MARDUK, the god of the WIND, slays TIAMAT and makesthe heavens
and the earth” from her body in language similar to GENESIS text, but the author of
GENESIS has DEMYTHOLOGIZED the BABYLONIAN MYTH- thus, the WATERS
become PRE-EXISTANT MATTER out of which ELOHIM creates the COSMOS, like a
POTTER creates a beautiful pot out of a chaotic lump of clay (2 points)
D) The other Theory of Creation is the one more commonly associated with GENESIS
ONE: Creation out of nothing by his WORD. “Let there be light Genesis 1:3 & 4 etc. In
both cases ELOHIM is NOT the MATERIAL CAUSE (1 point)
2. The SANSKRIT word “AP (WATERS) enables the HISTORIAN OF RELIGION to
understand the significance of WATERS in the Myth of Creation in the LAWS OF
MANU. What is the relationship of “AP (WATERS) to ISHVARA who createsfrom
within his own body”? (5 POINTS)
A) THE WATERS (AP) symbolize PRE-EXISTENT MATTER, which exists
INSIDE of ISHVARA, like the pre-existent matter inside a spider that later the spider
spins out into a beautiful web. ISHVARA, however, creates within himself. Both the
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