RELIGION OPENING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1. Why was the Mayan Prophecy not really a Mayan Prophecy?
2. List one religious ritual and three nonreligious rituals that involve special
• Religious: Bulgarian Muslim wedding
• Nonreligious: The newyear cold water jump, hockey team
3. What is “syncretism” and why is it a problem for the “world religions”
• Syncretism is the merging of religious elements
• Ex. Indigenous religions adopted the concept of good/evil (conflict dualism) from Europeans
• 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
4. How might a sacred text be considered both religious and nonreligious?
• We must look at the text in the cultural context
• The Bible is a sacred text that is massproduced – physical objects have certain religious
meaning to certain people • The Red Willows poem is nonreligious 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
5. Using James Cox’s definitions, explain how something can be both religious
• 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
• In indigenous stories, they step outside the physical realities, but they are also about non
religious messages like relationships and learning lessons
• Wine is religious in a Christian church mass representing the blood of Christ, but in the
normal world, it’s just wine
6. Use the cartoon clip shown today to illustrate 2 different ideas from the
7. “All religions change.” Discuss the academic support of this view, and the
possible theological opposition to it.
8. Give an example of both “hegemony” and “repressive state apparatus” from
the same scene in big bang theory?
9. Give 4 e